Chardonnay Taste Profile

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Image of Chardonnay grapes on grapevines.

The Chardonnay Taste Profile is made up of a unique combination of color, flavors, aromas, and structure. These elements are referred to as wine characteristics. Chardonnay becomes a bit more complex than the other Noble Grapes because it basically has 2 taste profiles. One for cool climates and one for warm climates. At the same time, it still has hallmark characteristics that will help you identify the wine by sight, smell and taste.

Unique Characteristics

Each type of wine grape develops a unique combination of flavors and aromas. These flavors and aromas are influenced by things like their growing environment (climate and soil – aka terroir), the fermentation process (aka yeast converting sugar to alcohol), and maturation (such as aging in oak barrels).

The overall taste profile of Chardonnay is influenced by the maturation process used. In cool climates, it is matured in stainless steel tanks as you’ll find in Chablis and in most of the Chardonnay from Burgundy, France. In warm climates, it’s matured in oak barrels as you’ll find in California. Oak aging creates a deeper color and a creamier, rounder, fuller taste to the Chardonnay than the stainless steel version.


The color for white wine ranges from Pale Straw to Medium Straw to Deep Gold. Wine that has a pale straw color is from cooler regions. Wine with a deep gold color is from warmer regions, has been aged in oak, and/or is older wine.

Color range for Chardonnay identifies cool climate Chardonnay as medium straw color and warm climate as deep gold color.

Chardonnay Wine Color: Medium straw to Deep gold.

The color for chardonnay depends on whether it was matured in oak barrels (oaked) or in stainless steel tanks (unoaked). The oak aging adds color to any wine. Chardonnay with a deep gold color has been aged in oak barrels.

Flavors & Aromas